The research and information visit to the Central African Republic (CAR) was conducted from 15 to 28 January 2007 by Mr. Zéphirin Kalimba, member of the African Commission’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (Working Group), accompanied by Dr. Albert K. Barume, member of the advisory network of experts to the Working Group and the sociologist Moké Loamba, President of the Association pour les Droits de l’Homme et l’Univers Carcéral (ADHUC) and member of the advisory network of experts to the Working Group. The visit aimed to achieve the following objectives:
- To inform the CAR government, regional and local authorities, national human rights institutions, the media, civil society organisations and associations, development agencies and other interested players of the report and efforts of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights with regard to indigenous peoples;
- To collect information on the situation of the human rights of indigenous peoples in the Central African Republic, with a view to providing a substantive report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- To distribute the African Commission’s report on indigenous peoples to key individuals and institutions.
A. To the Government of the Central African Republic
- Reserve a quota for indigenous peoples in all public sector recruitment, as is already done for disabled people;
- Finalize the process of ratifying ILO Convention 169;
- Establish programmes which ensure and increase indigenous peoples’ access to health facilities and take into account their specific cultural needs;
- Create programmes which ensure that indigenous children obtain access to the educational system. The particular situation of Pygmy indigenous children should be take into account;
- Adopt a law that prohibits slavery-like practices;
- Set up a national commission with the mandate to investigate alleged cases of slavery-like practices still affecting Aka indigenous peoples. Cases of sexual violence against Mbororo and Aka indigenous women as well as slavery-like practices that tend to contribute to the phenomena of sexual violence against Aka indigenous women should be severely punished in accordance with national laws;
- Take all necessary measures to combat impunity, such that ‘Pygmies’’ masters’ are held responsible for their actions towards the Aka peoples;
- Take all necessary measures to provide security to indigenous communities and their belongings in armed conflict-affected areas;
- Ensure that indigenous peoples are included in all decision-making processes regarding the development of their traditional areas;
- Take all necessary measures to ensure that civil registry documents are issued to all indigenous peoples;
- Take all necessary measures, including special measures (positive discriminations), to end all discrimination that Mbororo and Aka indigenous peoples suffer from;
- Adopt a national socio-economic program aiming at redressing injustices and imbalances that indigenous peoples suffer from. The negative impact of armed conflicts on Mbororo’s livestock should be one of the main issues to address.
- Take strong measures, including criminal charges, against under age marriages;
- Ensure formal legal recognition, demarcation and titling of indigenous peoples’ lands.
B. To NGOs
- Reinforce socio-economic development activities in indigenous areas.
C. To the international community
- Mobilize more resources for development projects in Aka and Mbororo indigenous areas;
- Increase indigenous peoples’ participation in all development projects likely to affect them.
D. To the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
- Follow up on this report and all its activities in the Central African Republic.